Cranmer Club

The Cranmer Club, also known as Red House, situated at 25 Armagh Street was built in 1864.

Cranmer Bridge Club
Cranmer Bridge Club. Creator (cre): Darryl Tong, Contributor (ctb): Darryl Tong. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In 1864, Dugald Macfarlane, a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo, purchased Town Section 287 from the Canterbury Association. In that same year he built a two-storey colonial cottage on the section.

The cottage differed from the standard colonial buildings being erected in Christchurch in that it was constructed from brick. Rectangular in shape, the building conformed to the standard box cottage colonial design. Facing south, the building consisted of two floors, with a single lean-to at the northern end, and a catslide roof. The house also featured a cellar, something that was not common in Christchurch due to the high water table.

Macfarlane sold the house to Isaac Elison Parker in 1871. In 1875, the house was purchased by George Beatty, the licensee of the Q.C.E. Hotel (Palace Hotel). Beatty sold the house to Sarah Hill in 1879.

Following the death of Sarah Hill in 1898, the house was purchased in 1899 by architect, Samuel Hurst Seager. After purchasing the property, Seager designed a single storey timber addition to the original house. This addition shows the influence of the Gothic Revival architectural tradition inspired by Benjamin Mountfort.

Facing Armagh Street, the southern façade, which remained windowless, was built with a decorative entrance porch. Inside, the porch originally opened into a hall with rooms on the northern and southern side. Both of these rooms are lit by bay windows.

In 1907 Seager sold the house to another architect, John James Collins. Collins sold the house to Leopold George Dyke Acland in 1911.

In 1921 the house was purchased by Dr Douglas Anderson. During his tenure, the house also functioned as his surgery. Anderson also added two sunrooms to the northern façade of the house, which were constructed above the original catslide roof of the lean-to.

Anderson sold the property in 1964 to the Cranmer Bridge Club which had been formed in 1959. The property remained in the ownership of the Cranmer Bridge Club until the original brick portion of the house was damaged during the Canterbury earthquakes. Following this, the original brick portion of the house was demolished.

The property was sold to Johannas Van Kan and Jo Grams who constructed a new concrete house, in place of the demolished original house, which is connected to the addition designed by Seager.